5 Off-Beat Adventures to Take in Curaçao

Early last month, I jetted off to sunny Curacao for a few days and the timing couldn’t have been more perfect. Not only did I get to experience JetBlue’s inaugural flight there, which included blue-themed cocktails, tons of prizes and even a jazz band at eight in the morning, but I got to escape the chilly New York City weather.

I first learned about this charming Caribbean Island last year while attending the Women’s Travel Fest and I’m so glad I had the opportunity to visit in person. Since then, I’ve had Curacao on my mind. For those unfamiliar with the island, Curacao is part of the Dutch Caribbean and is located close to the Venezuelan coast. As a result, the culture is a colorful mix of nationalities and traditions.

pinterest-graphics

One of the coolest things I discovered about Curacao is that there is so much to do beyond the beach and that’s definitely saying something because the beaches are gorgeous. Here are a few of my favorite off-beat adventures to take in Curacao if and when you’re ready to take a break from the waves.

Nature Travel Guide to Curacao

Visit the largest Ostrich farm outside of Africa

The Curacao Ostrich Farm is not only one of the biggest farms in the Caribbean, but it’s also the largest of its kind outside Africa. If that seems a bit random, join the club. Regardless, I’ve never been to Africa (not counting Egypt) so for me, this was a pretty exotic experience. After checking in, our group hopped in a safari-like vehicle and drove through the different areas of the farm, making Ostrich friends as we went.

I didn’t really know much about the behavioral habits of ostriches but throughout the drive, we witnessed both a mating dance and a “get away from me” dance. Near the end of the guided tour, we had the chance to stand on an ostrich egg and watch it not break. It’s pretty amazing that the shells are thick and strong enough to withstand the weight of one’s entire body.

If you’re not quite ready to leave the farm at the end of the tour, there’s a shop that sells African art and souvenirs as well as a restaurant that serves African dishes and house specialties made of the ostrich meat.

5 Off-Beat Adventures to Take in Curacao

Learn the health benefits of Aloe

After our trip to the Ostrich Farm, we drove a short distance to CurAloe Plantation. More than  100,000 Aloe plants are cultivated on the plantation in the most sustainable way possible and there’s also a store called CurAloe on-site. The plantation is interesting in its own right but we didn’t wander through the fields. Rather, our guide sliced open a plant and told us which parts we should eat and for what purpose. I’ve never actually eaten Aloe before but apparently you can and it’s beyond healthy for your body.

If you’re really into plants then I recommend going here but otherwise, this is a nice stop to shop for locally made and eco-friendly products like face creams, lotions and soaps to bring back home. If you’re not in the area, there’s also a CurAloe shop centrally located in Willemstad. Plus, many hotels, like the Santa Barbara Beach & Golf Resort where we stayed, stocks the bathrooms with CurAloe shampoo, conditioner and body lotion.

Aloe plantation Curacao

Tour an herb garden

One of my biggest highlights from Curacao was touring through the Den Paradera Garden Herb Garden with Dinah Veeris. “Den Paradera” means “the place where you feel at home” and I really did feel at home here. Dinah knows everything about medicinal plants and it’s obvious that she is passionate about her craft. The garden was once the biggest healing herb garden on the east side of the island and it’s packed with plants and trees.

In a world where over-the-counter and prescription drugs are encouraged, it was refreshing to learn how many natural remedies can be planted in our own backyard. If I ever make it back to Curacao, I’d love to spend more time here and maybe even help out for a few days…of course, if there’s a need. In the mean time, I’m eager to start a garden of my own.

herb garden in Curacao

Snorkel inside the “Blue Room”

Our trip started and ended with JetBlue but the blue-theme was fairly consistent throughout the week. During our snorkel trip with Go West Diving, we got a glimpse of Curaçao’s friendly waters and world-class reefs. Our first stop was what is called the “blue room.” Basically, there’s a cave with a very small entrance to get in and out of it. Inside the cave is dark but if you turn around and look back at the entrance where you came in, the sun shining outside the cave illuminates the water in vibrant blue hues.

Having just read a young adult novel inspired by The Little Mermaid, I couldn’t help but feel like I was Ariel. It also allowed me to conquer my fear of small spaces. While snorkeling is not exactly off-beat, swimming in the Blue Room was unlike any snorkel trip I’ve taken and because of that, it really stands out as a top activity on the island.

snorkel spots in Curacao

Explore Shete Boka National Park

After our snorkeling adventure, we visited Shete Boka National Park. Although a bit off-the-beaten-path, I found the park to be a perfect combination of scenic (think crashing waves and complex rock formations) and rugged terrain. Located on the rocky north coast of Curacao, the park has 10 pocket beaches and if you come during the right season, you might see sea turtles laying there eggs. Boka Tabla is the most well-known of the inlets. Here, you’ll see waves crashing against the rocks and if you walk a little deeper, you’ll see waves seeping into the dark caverns.

This is one of those excursions where you can spend as little as fifteen minutes snapping photographs of you can take a long stroll along the path. Either way, it’s easy to pair this activity with one of the others in this post if you’re pressed for time.

Shete Boka National Park

This trip was hosted by Curacao Tourism and Diamond PR. I stayed at Santa Barbara Beach & Golf Resort and Floris Suite Hotel during my stay. All opinions are my own. 

Like me on Facebook and Tweet me: @BohemianTrails

Sign up for my free monthly BOHO BLAST!

Hi! I’m Megan,

a Scorpio sun and Libra moon who left her job in the music industry to travel and write full-time. Since then, i´ve explored more than 60 countries in the hopes that you will, too.

The world is made of magic and so are you!

RECENT POSTS

top reasons to visit Kerala in 2020

Here’s Why I Want to Visit Kerala (and you should, too)!

Every so often, I write about a destination I haven’t been to. As much as I love recounting trips and sharing my experiences here on Bohemian Trails, I also love to dream; dream about people and places I’ve never crossed paths with. That’s the traveler in me, the explorer that believes in the magic of

Read More »

My Favorite Caribbean Islands to Escape to This Winter

Winter is in full swing, which means that there’s still time to plan that weekend getaway. An east-coaster from birth and having lived in New York for seven years, the Caribbean remains my go-to winter destination. In many cases, you’ll find direct flights (or nearly direct) and within a few hours, you are on a

Read More »

Reflections on the Lake: Join us in Guatemala this New Years!

Pack your bags, notepads and Yoga mats. We’re going to Guatemala! I am thrilled to announce that I’ll be co-leading another writing + wellness + wanderlust retreat over New Years! Mark your calendars for December 29-January 3. My co-leader, Heather Suzanne, is not only one of my favorite Yoga teachers I’ve had the pleasure of

Read More »

Want to Work Remote? These 5 Degrees Will Help

Back when I was starting college, I had very different ideas of what my life would become. For years, I planned on being a child psychologist and was pretty content with that. Then something happened; I studied abroad, landed a job in the fashion industry and everything changed. I started to realize that I wanted

Read More »

5 Must-Know Travel Tips for your First Solo Trip Abroad

Traveling solo as a woman is honestly one of the best travel experiences you will ever have. No pressure, right?! I’m an introvert, so taking a solo trip to a familiar destination, or even a new one, is something that suits my travel style. That said, you want to ensure your safety just like you do

Read More »

Instagram

By continuing to use the site, you agree to the use of cookies. More information

Use of cookies

This website is using cookies for improving your experience as a user. If you keep on navigating you are giving your consent to the use of these cookies and our cookies policy. Click on the COOKIES POLICY, the link for more information. You can also check our PRIVACY POLICY.

Close